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Graham Mullen

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Graham Mullen
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
Title:   Senior Judge
Station:   Charlotte, NC
Appointed by:   George H.W. Bush
Active:   09/11/1990 - 11/30/2005
Chief:   1998 - 2005
Senior:   12/01/2005 - Present
Preceded by:   James McMillan
Succeeded by:   Martin Reidinger
Personal History
Born:   1940
Hometown:   Charlotte, NC
Undergraduate:   Duke U., B.A., 1962
Law School:   Duke U. Law, J.D., 1969
Military service:   U.S. Navy 1962 - 1966

Graham Calder Mullen is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. He joined the court in 1990 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. He is serving on senior status.[1]

Early life and education

A native of North Carolina, Mullen graduated from Duke University with his bachelor's degree in1962 and later graduated with his juris doctorate degree in 1969. From 1962 to 1966 Mullen served in the US Navy as an Active Duty Lieutenant during the Vietnam Conflict.[1]

Professional career

Mullen spent his entire pre-judicial legal career as a private practice attorney licensed in the State of North Carolina from 1969 to 1990.[1]

Judicial career

Western District of North Carolina

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, Mullen was nominated by President George H.W. Bush on February 20, 1990 to a seat vacated by James McMillan as McMillan went on senior status. Mullen was confirmed by the Senate on September 10, 1990 and received commission on September 11, 1990. Mullen served as the previous chief judge of the Court from 1998 to 2005 before assuming senior status on December 1, 2005.[1]

Notable cases

Judge approves payout from ponzi scheme (2014)

Federal Judge Graham Mullen gave permission to begin paying victims of its ponzi scheme, a total of 2.2 million people. Judge Mullen approved the method used to determine the amount of the payout for each person, as well - here, the rising-tide method. It attempts to leave as many investors as possible with the same percentage recovery of their total investment. and Zeekler, and Rex Venture Group LLC, all owned by Paul Burks, were shut down by the Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2012 after being accused of raising $850 million through unregistered securities.


Jeremy Mayfield case: Driver sues NASCAR for defamation in relation to failed drug test (2009-2010)

     United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina ((dead link) Jeremy Allen Mayfield et al., v. National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., et al., 3:09-cv-220-MU)

Judge Mullen was the presiding judge in the case of NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield. The judge, on July 1, 2009, lifted a suspension that NASCAR had levied on Mayfield for testing positive for illegal drug use.[2]

Mullen stated in his ruling that "the likelihood of a false positive in this case is quite substantial." Mullen went on to rule in Mayfield's favor after two hours of closing arguments, including NASCAR's argument that Mayfield is a danger to the sport. Mayfield had tested positive for high amounts of methamphetamine use.[2]

Mayfield was suspended on May 9, 2009 by NASCAR after failing a random drug test during a race held in Richmond, Virginia. Mayfield maintained at the time of his suspension that he did not take methamphetamines. The NASCAR driver based the positive tests results from combining Adderall, a prescription he took for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with the allergy medication Claritin.[2]

"I have never taken methamphetamines in my life, and when accused of taking them I immediately volunteered to give another urine sample," Mayfield said in an affidavit filed in federal court.[2]

Bill Diehl, who represented Mayfield, claimed that NASCAR's drug testing program does not meet federal workplace guidelines or follow proper procedures set by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).[2]

Diehl argued that Mayfield did not give permission to NASCAR to conduct testing on the "B" sample after the "A" sample came back positive, as guidelines indicate should be done. Diehl argued that the "B" sample should have been tested at an independent laboratory. Also, Mayfield's attorney claimed that the "B" sample was compromised during the testing and said that the entire test should be discarded. Both samples originally were tested by Aegis Laboratory. Diehl also questioned NASCAR for not providing a list of all banned substances, which the case in other professional sports that conduct drug testing programs.[2]

On July 6, 2009, attorneys for NASCAR asked Judge Mullen to reverse his first ruling and appealed the ruling to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Richmond. NASCAR disputes Mullen's conclusion that the chance of a false positive on Mayfield's drug test was "quite substantial," and also asserted that Mullen relied on facts "outside the record" including the existence of reliable hair sample tests and same-day tests for methamphetamine".[3]

On July 13, 2009, legal counsel for NASCAR asked Judge Mullen to overrule on his July 1, 2009 ruling on new evidence that the NASCAR driver tested positive again for methamphetamine.[4]

Judge Mullen on May 18, 2010, dismissed Mayfield's lawsuit. The judge stated in his ruling that Mayfield did not provide enough evidence to suggest NASCAR committed defamation and also cited an agreement signed by Mayfield that drivers and employees cannot sue NASCAR over drug test results. There has been no announcement from Mayfield's attorneys if they plan to take any further action in response to the ruling.[5]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
James McMillan
Western District of North Carolina
Succeeded by:
Martin Reidinger

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